Five tactics for succeeding at cross-platform measurement

The header image shows an illustration of a TV with lightning bolts on top of it.

Kevin Whitcher, vice president, product management, Moat by Oracle Data Cloud

With more screens than eyes to watch them, it’s no surprise that marketers are trying to figure out how to reach and measure their intended audiences across all of the devices they use, including TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones.

Consistent TV and digital measurement has been a challenge that has eluded advertisers for years as they’ve tried to cobble together different metrics and methodologies into a unified framework. Today, however, there are new ways to connect the dots for marketers, so they can understand not only whom they are reaching but also where and how often. What follow are five tips to optimize measurement strategies across TV and digital to ensure that marketers are making the most of their ad spend and truly measuring what matters.

1. Use new tools to measure cross-platform audience reach and benefit from unprecedented insights

Traditionally, cross-platform measurement tools have been bedeviled by disconnected data silos, conflicting metrics, confusing interfaces and limited reach. New tools coming onto the market, however, offer marketers the ability to undertake people-based measurement and compare reach and frequency across channels, platforms and audiences. These new capabilities will be game-changers for marketers looking to measure on an apples-to-apples basis across TV and digital for a complete picture of their campaigns. By comparing foundational metrics across all channels, marketers can adjust their campaigns to maximize the impact of their marketing investments.

2. Turn the knob to adjust TV partners for the best return

Historically, a significant portion of ad spend is locked in for the year after upfronts. This year will be different, and most brands will have more flexibility to adjust their spend to focus on the TV partners and channels that show the best results. Using new tools that allow marketers to compare reach and frequency across both TV and digital channels, marketers can identify the networks that provide the best bang for the buck and adjust their spend accordingly. They can also find the smaller networks that have a high concentration of their relevant audience, so they can use TV’s “long tail” to increase their reach. By leveraging this data, marketers can ensure that their overall TV strategy — and tactical negotiations with broadcasters — are data-driven to achieve the best outcomes.

3. Compare spend across media channels to see which ones are most efficient at reaching relevant audiences

Strategies that focus solely on aligning with the right demographic audience remains the (unfortunate) reality for many TV campaigns, and it’s time to broaden those traditional definitions of relevance to other audience characteristics that can help advertisers achieve their business goals.

Rather than focusing only on women ages 18–49, for example, marketers must push their partners to include first-party data on customers, past purchase behavior, interest segments and other relevant audiences for their brands. Once they’ve identified those relevant audiences, marketers should evaluate the reach and frequency of their campaigns to those custom audiences across every TV and digital channel so they can tell where they’re getting the best value for their investment. By focusing that analysis on their target audiences — based on demographics, purchase behavior and other criteria — marketers can ensure they’re achieving the most relevant reach for their campaigns.

4. Verify that ads are being viewed by real people

Marketers’ measurements are meaningless if they include bots, fraud or other ads that are never seen by real people. Fraud is an increasing challenge in the OTT/CTV environment, as criminals shift their illegal activities to capture the increased investment by advertisers. While linear TV ads reduce the risk of fraud, they still face challenges around viewer attention.

Marketers should ensure that their measurement tools use state-of-the-art technologies to evaluate their campaigns by incorporating important metrics around fraud, viewability and attention across all channels. Only then can they tell which channels are most effective at reaching real and relevant people, not bogus bots or invisible impressions.

5. Get a holistic view of reach and frequency across portfolios

When diversifying ad spend across a variety of channels, it’s important to gain an understanding of frequency across an entire campaign. This ensures that marketers have adequate touchpoints for their messages and helps avoid oversaturation and the wasted spend that comes with it. Frequency capping in a single channel has always been a powerful tool, but across channels it has not been consistent or comprehensive, so heavy users have often been vastly oversaturated with ads. For example, if three partners have varying frequency caps, one could end up exhausting a single message on the same person — not to mention wasting valuable dollars.

The holy grail of campaign measurement is people-based analysis across all channels of frequency and reach for each marketer’s intended audience. By using new tools that provide that unduplicated view across TV and digital, marketers are building new strategies and leveraging new tactics to reach that goal.

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